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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: sports

Mar 18

Sports Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | March 18, 2014

Sports anxiety
By Anonymous

There are plenty of people willing to speak up in favor of the value of participating in high school sports. We’ve all heard about how fun sports are and how they teach valuable skills like teamwork, hard work, and commitment. But for some people, sports can be a source of extreme anxiety and stress. That was the case for me.

As a freshman in high school, I made the varsity softball team. After the announcement was made, I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to get home and try my uniform on. I set the goal to be a four year starter and promised myself I would practice harder and longer than everyone else. My hard work paid off, and I became the starting third baseman. I was on my way to achieving my goal.

Then, during my junior year, everything changed. A new freshman made varsity and she also desired the third base position. I pledged to work even harder and practiced every moment I possibly could. Despite my hard work, I arrived one game to find a Junior Varsity jersey on my seat. I had lost my starting position.

This was one of the most devastating experiences during my time in high school. I cried for days and blamed myself for not working even harder. I became incredibly anxious for every practice and game, afraid that I would make mistakes and never get my position back. So much of my self-esteem and self-worth had come from my softball success, and I began to feel like I had less value as a person. I constantly worried about my softball performance and found it hard to have fun with my friends or concentrate on other activities. I eventually earned a starting spot again the next season, after spending an entire year obsessing over this sport and my worth on the team.

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Mar 13

Unexpected Motivation

Posted By iamincontrol | March 13, 2014

Football player
By Anonymous

When I entered high school, I was overweight and out of shape and started football camp. I was teased by upperclassmen, but instead of just letting them keep making fun of me, I decided to do something about it. I used that as motivation to make a change and started working out daily. I ended up losing 25 pounds by the end of my first semester in high school and I was in the best shape of my life.

By the end of football season, I was playing with the varsity team and making an impact as part of the team. By my sophomore year, I had lost 35 pounds and took the starting varsity spot from one of my teammates who had made fun of me every day the year before. That was a better feeling than any type of payback I could have given him. I was angry, but instead of using violence, I used my anger as motivation. That one year of being bullied as a freshman set the tone for the rest of my high school career and taught me that it is not okay for anyone to be bullied because of their weight.

In my case, if I had not been bullied, I would have been content with being overweight and never would have changed my lifestyle. I still use that motivation in college to not be content with choosing a less active lifestyle and doing what makes me happy. While it’s never okay to bully others, I used the situation to my advantage to make a change. It is never too late to become physically active, and even choosing to take the stairs over the elevator is a step in the right direction.

Bullying is a serious issue across the country, and it is always important to stand up for yourself and be happy with who you are.

Feb 18

Choosing the Healthy Lifestyle

Posted By iamincontrol | February 18, 2014

Teens cooking
By Brittany

High school is an important time to start making healthy choices for the rest of your life, especially food choices. At school, you are surrounded by many different food options in the lunch cafeteria, both healthy and unhealthy. Sometimes it was hard for me to choose the healthy choices over the yummier looking options. Being on the cross-country team, I learned that my workouts were affected by the foods I ate. I needed to learn to make healthy choices, even when the junk food looked better.

The big thing to remember is the habits you start creating in high school will transfer on to college. You need to practice healthy eating habits now so you can do it later in life. In college it gets even harder to make the right choice when parents aren’t around to supervise. Homemade nutritious meals turn into fast food meals.

Eating healthy will benefit you in many ways. In high school I was growing rapidly and was trying to perform better in sports, so proper nutrition was a must for me. I wanted to become the best cross-country runner I could by eating well. Running helped build my confidence and emphasized the importance of eating healthy. I noticed changes in my food selection and learned to choose the healthier choice. I have now established a healthy lifestyle from high school and college and love the impact it has on my life.

This website talks about how nutrition will help high school athletes perform their best. I recommend reading it for ideas and starting to make healthy choices today that carry on forever in your life!

Jan 16

NFL Player and Bullied Teen Team Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 16, 2014

Today we’re sharing a story of hope and overcoming obstacles.  Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants, was discriminated against and bullied when he was younger.  Now he’s helping someone else who’s been bullied: a gay teen named Joey.  In the video below, Victor invites Joey to join him in the New York Giants locker room to help him overcome his fear of being bullied there.

It doesn’t matter what it’s for: bullying hurts.  By banding together and standing up to bullying like Victor and Joey and did, we can make it easier to get through it and work to stop it.  It’s important to stay strong and remember that it gets better.  Learn how you can take action and stand up against bullying at

Read about more NFL players who have overcome bullying and are helping others here.

If you want to learn more about Joey’s group, The Equality Project, visit their website or their Facebook page.

You are in control of standing up to bullying.

Jan 14

Mean Girls: My Anorexia Story

Posted By iamincontrol | January 14, 2014

Bullied teenage girl
By Samantha

During my teenage years I suffered from self-esteem issues and anorexia. The girls on my volleyball team were extremely mean to me. Growing up I was really athletic and always had more muscle than other girls, so they called me fat. When I was 14, I convinced myself that I looked disgusting and needed to lose a lot of weight. Every time I looked in the mirror I picked out my flaws and thought about how much weight I needed to lose. Eventually the pounds started coming off and I was starting to get skinnier.

However, my self-esteem did not go up. It actually sky rocketed down. I started to get extremely sick and passed out often. I couldn’t participate in the sports I loved because I was so unhealthy. Eventually the school contacted my parents about the passing out episodes, and I had to confront them about my issues. The talk with my parents was very difficult, but I’m glad it happened. I needed a wake up call.

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Dec 3

Winter Break Activities

Posted By iamincontrol | December 3, 2013

Mittens & hat
The results are in!  In November we asked you, “What do you plan on doing over your holiday break?” 

You said:

  • Spending time with family (20%)
  • Hanging out with friends (60%)
  • Working extra hours (0%)
  • Playing sports (0%)
  • Relaxing and nothing else (20%)

We think a mix of all those things would be a great way to spend your holiday break.  Plus, we have some more ideas to share with you that you might not have thought of.

  1. Learn a new hobby – Winter break is a great time to learn something new.  You probably have a big chunk of free time, which is rare for teens.  Learn something new like knitting (chunky scarves are definitely in right now), photography, or a sport you don’t normally play.
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Nov 19

The Perfect Stress Reliever

Posted By iamincontrol | November 19, 2013

By Bryce

Going through high school can be stressful for any kid, and everybody has their different ways to cope with stress.  In my experience I was constantly stressed out with grades and also with the high school sports that I participated in. I tried many remedies to cope with this stress, but the one that really put an end to my stress was through exercise.

I found that if I was stressed in a situation at home, the best way to cope was for me to go outside and shoot hoops.  Shooting hoops, for me, allowed me to get away from everyone and not think about what was stressing me out.  Instead, I would focus on a skill that involved exercise and try to perfect it.  The exercise calmed me down, and focusing on perfecting my skill allowed me to reduce stress in other areas in my life.  Playing basketball because I was stressed let me be confident in my ability on the court.  After all, the shooting and trying to get better made it more fun to compete.

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Oct 15

Why I’m a Runner

Posted By iamincontrol | October 15, 2013

Running shoes
By Amanda

Running has been a part of my life for many years. It’s great because you don’t have to be an athlete, or even desire to be one to start running. In my case, I was on the cross country team in high school and enjoyed being outside running. It was a way for me to get exercise and be with my friends. I have continued to have a passion for running through my college years. College life can be very stressful. Trying to balance; family, friends, school, and work can be quite hard. Many students I know say they don’t have enough time to exercise. When I need a break from doing homework I enjoy going out for a run. Sometimes, I just need a break from my busy life, and running helps me and makes me feel so much better when I am done.

Running is just one way to get exercise, but I enjoy it because running is easy and very inexpensive. I don’t need costly equipment; all I need is running shoes. When I run I notice that I sleep better at night, which is important for anyone who is really busy.

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Oct 1

Affordable Activities to Do with Friends

Posted By iamincontrol | October 1, 2013

Popcorn for movie night
The results are in!  Here was last month’s poll question:

Do you ever avoid hanging out with friends for financial reasons?

  • Yes. Everything we do costs money (going to the movies, going out to eat, etc.). (42%)
  • No. My parents pay for everything. (42%)
  • No. I have a job and like spending my money doing stuff with my friends. (14%)
  • I spend most of my time in sports or activities that do not cost money. (0%)

If you ever avoid doing things with your friends because you don’t have the money, try one of the activities below to save some cash.

  • Organize a game night – Maybe board games don’t sound that exciting, but they can be really fun.  Apples to Apples is especially hilarious to play with your friends, and chances are, at least one of your friends owns it.
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Aug 20


Posted By iamincontrol | August 20, 2013

By Molly

Throughout high school, I was always active in sports and loved being involved and socializing with my friends during them. Little did I know that after coming to college, I would find a sport that I would love more than any other sport: rugby. Rugby is an intense game that requires a large amount of toughness as no pads are worn, as well as endurance because games last eighty minutes. Tackling is an essential part of rugby as well as rucking, which is fighting for possession. It is a game like no other, though people like to think of it as a combination of soccer and football.

The main idea of the game is to score the ball, which is called a try. There are eight forwards, which are generally the bigger and stronger individuals and seven backs which are the quicker individuals. In football the clock stops every down. In rugby there is no such thing as downs and the clock never stops except at half time. The goal is to run the ball up the field to get the ball into the try zone. When the ball is in the try zone, downward pressure needs to be applied to the ball for the try to count on the scoreboard. There are three main forms of rugby: sevens, tens and fifteens. The names of the game demonstrate how many players are on either side of the field. Sevens games last fifteen minutes total, tens games last twenty minutes total and fifteens games last eighty minutes total.

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